Split decision: Harris twins commit to separate colleges


Photo provided by: Michael Harris

Twins Michael (left) and Andrew (right) Harris stand out on Tom Storey Field Stadium. The pair received over 25 offers to play collegiate football .

Abby Roberson and Trinidy Kev

On Feb. 1, four-star linebackers and twin brothers Andrew and Michael Harris announced their unexpected split for the pursuit of separate college ambitions. The nationally-ranked duo initially both planned to commit to the University of Central Florida until their sudden decommitment from the university in late Dec.. That was until this year’s signing day, a day dedicated to high school athletes committing to their future colleges when the Harris twins instead committed to two different universities: Andrew to the University of Central Florida and Michael to the University of Maryland. 

Despite a strong history with sports throughout their childhood in Jamaica, it was not until the brothers’ freshman year of high school that they began their football journey. The twins quickly became key members of the football team, adapting to the sport in record time. 

“Freshman year I started playing football,” senior Michael Harris said. “It’s been very fun and a very, very memorable experience to have, just playing with all of the other guys on the field.”

Playing side-by-side in sports such as track, soccer and basketball their whole lives, the twins built unfathomable connections with each other on every field. Their ability to play seamlessly together and independently left recruiters and coaches awestruck. 

“Me and that man’s the exact same,” Andrew Harris said. “We don’t even have to communicate on the field for us to know that we know what he’s doing. I know what I’m doing, you know. We’re like robots.”

The twins’ chemistry with each other on the field contributed greatly to the football team’s success; they were an inseparable duo both on and off the field. Their intertwined success and sportsmanship is what generated such shock when they decided to go their separate ways for college. 

“I actually didn’t realize that we were gonna split up till then,” Andrew Harris said. “I thought he was just playing around, but no he was being serious.”

Mentors and family members of the twins have watched and supported their journey playing high school football. The twins’ ability to assimilate into the sport caught the attention of people not only across the campus but the nation.

“I’ve seen them grow in the sense of them first, you know, learning the game of football, you can see every year they’re understanding the game a little bit more,” Athletic Director Melissa Dallenbach said. “They’re understanding what it takes to be an athlete at a different level, a little bit more every year. As far as academics and everything else, they are at this point getting ready to go to a D1 school, so with that comes a lot of time management and class management and figuring out what’s going on in your life. All of the special games that they get to go play in and interviews that they have to do. These things are going to translate over into their college experience.”

While many were surprised that the twins chose different paths, it is clear the decision to do so will allow the boys to grow individually and provide them with the best atmosphere for success.

“Knowing them and their goals and their personalities, I actually think that they both picked a school that fits them really well and I can see why they picked each school,” Dallenbach said. “And so it doesn’t necessarily surprise me that they split up, but makes me happy that they chose what was best for them and that they are excited about their decisions.”